Index rises above 1,700

The Athens Stock Exchange benchmark general index ended last week at 1,720.75 points, a rise of 56.98 points or 3.42 percent from the previous week’s close. The ASE’s steady rise in recent weeks has cut its overall losses for the year to a mere 1.58 percent. All three sessions of this shortened week ended with gains. The bourse was closed Monday for the Orthodox Easter, and again Thursday, for Labor Day. Total trade volume was 597.59 million euros, an average of 199.20 million per session. This includes several block transactions, especially in mobile telecommunications firm CosmOTE. Investor interest focused on blue chips, sending the FTSE/ ASE-20 index 4.83 percent higher, to 853.13 points. The FTSE/ ASE Small-Cap 80 rose 4.51 percent and the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 ended up 3.80 percent. The FTSE/ASE-140, a composite of the previous three, rose 4.62 percent to close at 1,967.11 points. Sectoral indices rose, with one exception, telecommunications, which dropped 0.56 percent. The greatest gains were realized by IT equipment and solutions (12.72 percent), retail commerce (9.65 percent) and banks (9.45 percent). Among the 366 individual shares traded, 290 ended with gains, 50 suffered losses and 26 remained unchanged. Gainers were led by Karatzi (45.32 percent), Xifias Fisheries (38.24 percent) and Lan-Net (36.40 percent). The top losers were the preferred shares of VIS (17.06 percent) and Cor-Fil (11.76 percent). Helped by the transfer of a block of shares (9 percent of total) by Norway’s Telenor, CosmOTE was the week’s stock with the heaviest trade volume, an average of 97.47 million euros per session. OTE followed far behind (17.47 million). (Due to a technical fault we are unable to provide the exact figures for last week’s trading volume in the list below.)